When landlords become dangerous.

MunchMyStump

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I do a lot of work in the area for various charity organisations and as such I see houses and hostels in varying degrees of disrepair. Over the past couple of days I was asked to inspect a leak coming into a basement kitchen where water was coming through the hob extractor. The owner is known for being hard to handle and has a attitude whereby she knows better than you.
Here is the email response I sent to the charity this morning.... Names etc omitted for obvious reasons...


"Hi all, this is a written account for your records of my meeting today with R B, owner of 8 NV, my arrival and findings on Wednesday 24th Feb.

I was called out on Wednesday 24th Feb to see where the leak into the kitchen was coming from. This leak was coming through and around the hob extractor unit, a unit that is 240 V.
There is a service hatch above the extractor so I removed a section to gain access to see if it was the waste from the shower to where it joins the soil pipe. Running the shower directly down its waste and observing for 10 minutes no leak was present. However the joist above the soil did show signs of water being present. Within this boxing in section there is a live 13 Amp socket, some form of transformer and a termination block for which I have no idea. Suffice to say there are live electrics directly in the vicinity of a water leak.
Upon further investigation a hole and cracks in the shower grouting were found and it was decided to remove the old grout and redo the complete bottom section (white tiles). During the removal process one tile fell completely off, the tiles surrounding are also loose and are no longer attached to the bare plasterboard. Water has been eating away at the plasterboard and running along leaving just its backing paper attached to the dot and dab adhesive on the back of the tiles. This has at some point been a temporary fix. The white tiles themselves do not match any others within the bathroom. Directly behind the tiles where the hole in the grout was, the plasterboard is none existent as in it has decayed to nothing so there is nothing to even begin to try and tile against.
Today my meeting with RB began with me explaining the damage, the fact that water was dripping where live electrics are present and the remedy. The removal of all the white tiles and old plasterboard is required. Cement board to be fixed and new tiles fitted.
RB informed me that she was not prepared to do this as she is planning on doing a refurb in June and all she wanted me to do is fill it with cardboard and stick the tiles back on. This I said I cannot do as this was not a sound and watertight fix and the risk of further leaks where live electrics are present is dangerous not only to the residents but to anyone who might come into contact with the shower and the shower in itself could become live. She then informed me that I "must" replace the shower hose and rail along with sticking the tiles back in place and she will get someone else. This I cannot do. This would imply the shower is safe to use when it is not. I have left the shower in an unusable state deliberately so as to protect the residents and clear myself and A**** Housing of any responsibility should RB get someone silly enough to try and bodge it up. I have also not refitted the service hatch in the kitchen so as to reveal where the live feeds are for inspection. Should someone come and repair the shower I would be very suspicious if we see the very same tiles put back in place, this would indicate that an unsafe and unsound repair has been carried out and money is more important to her than the safety and wellbeing of the residents.

By all means if you need to discuss this further with me I am as always happy to help".

I have taken plenty of photographs and videos to back both myself and the charity. Given her past history it would not surprise me in the slightest if she got someone in to do a bodge job, which the repair originally was after all, and put lives at risk over money. It truly makes my blood boil when people do this. I have a great rapport with the residents, I help them where I can in my free time and they are all aware of the situation and aware that I would like pictures should someone else come to "fix" the shower.
Bad landlords putting people at risk is just unacceptable...
Sorry just had to vent...

Munchy
 

david white

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Enough to make your blood boil ain’t it !!

You’ve been left no choice but to cover your own back BUT, and herein lies the problem as faced by those of us with a conscience, how would you feel IF the job was bodged and subsequently some one died ?

This is in no way a criticism so please don’t take it the wrong way but from past experience in the above circumstances I’d name and shame the landlord to whom ever the governing body might be.

I’d lose no sleep over doing so and it might just save a life
 

OldTaff

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Bad landlords are a nightmare - you did the right thing mate; document it all, take photographic evidence, put your concerns in writing.

Our current letting agents are good but the owner doesn’t want to spend money on the property so we are waiting for the front bay window to fall out in the summer :ROFLMAO:
 

SeanB

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Can you contact the Local Authority, they should have a Private Rental Sector team who deal with issues such as this, they should be able to enforce a proper, safe repair.
 

carphauler

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Doesn't surprise me, I once had a landlord that wouldn't fix a faulty thermostat in an electric oven, eventually he gave in and sent a relative who was an electrician, he confirmed landlord was a tight git.
Then the shower isolation switch broke, accused me of swinging off the cord?!
Gave us our 2 month marching orders after that as apparently we were 'deliberately' breaking things, laughable but didnt delay in putting me and my family on the streets.
 

Zerkalo

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Glad I don't have that much responsibility in my job. I basically just check places are clean and for scratches etc
 

MunchMyStump

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Enough to make your blood boil ain’t it !!

You’ve been left no choice but to cover your own back BUT, and herein lies the problem as faced by those of us with a conscience, how would you feel IF the job was bodged and subsequently some one died ?

This is in no way a criticism so please don’t take it the wrong way but from past experience in the above circumstances I’d name and shame the landlord to whom ever the governing body might be.

I’d lose no sleep over doing so and it might just save a life
I have spoken to all the residents, the charity, including their directors and made it clear to all that this should be condemned. Hence me leaving it in a totally unusable state. I have also asked the residents to contact me directly should someone come and repair it. At that point I will come back and inspect the repair and if found to be dangerous I will then act and report to relevant authorities. No offence taken BTW, I think you and I are singing from the same song book here. This type of irresponsibility needs to end...
 

MunchMyStump

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Can you contact the Local Authority, they should have a Private Rental Sector team who deal with issues such as this, they should be able to enforce a proper, safe repair.
I am the proper and safe repair guy... Alas I have no authority to force landlords into undertaking such work. Right now I just sit on my hands and await the residents and or the owner / charity getting back to me. I did my bit in leaving it unusable and informing the residents, owner and charity involved.
The repair is going to be @ about £400 ish... gimme another £200 contingency as I do not know how high the capillary action has taken the water up the wall. That whole section might well be FUBAR too. Considering the landlord gets £600 per week... yes week! I think it's monstrous that their approach is both dangerous and cheap....
 

Dave

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That's rotten in more ways than one. I'd suspect a leak from he shower valve fittings as well just to rub it in ;)
 

SeanB

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Sadly money is more important than residents welfare with some landlords.
I wasn't suggesting that your work was substandard, I've just had some dealings in the past with potentially dangerous homes and the PRS team were very good in "motivating" the landlord into making the repairs.
 

david white

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I have spoken to all the residents, the charity, including their directors and made it clear to all that this should be condemned. Hence me leaving it in a totally unusable state. I have also asked the residents to contact me directly should someone come and repair it. At that point I will come back and inspect the repair and if found to be dangerous I will then act and report to relevant authorities. No offence taken BTW, I think you and I are singing from the same song book here. This type of irresponsibility needs to end...
Definitely we could even be singing the same song !
Joking aside I applaud everything you’ve done and for accepting the responsibility of being a ‘ tradesman ‘ a dying trait I fear, what with buy it on line qualifications and get quick learn a trade schemes, if any good comes from the covid pandemic let it be the realisation that we ought to ‘ buy British ‘ and have a renewed manufacturing sector including fully fledged trade apprenticeships
 

MunchMyStump

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That's rotten in more ways than one. I'd suspect a leak from he shower valve fittings as well just to rub it in ;)
I will show you the video tomorrow, I suspect the same... Luckily I'm off fishing tomorrow, something I need for MY health and wellbeing!
Psst... Special hempseed cooked up and ready to go... keep it quiet (y)

Sorry, "we" are off fishing tomorrow! cant bloody wait lool
 

Dave

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I once had a landlady who had a tenant that killed himself in the shared bath on a Boxing Day. (Shared bathroom in a HMO)

I was called to see if I'd go open the door as it was stuck but I was just on my way out with the family so said I'd call later.
A tenant's boyfriend kicked the door open and found the body.

I went the following day after the corpse had been removed to make repairs and found the landlady scrubbing the bath with bleach - the rest of the tenants were mortified and refused to use the bath unless it was changed. She refused point blank.


Anyway, best bit of advice for you Mr Munch is ..... go fishing ;)
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I must admit to being confused. Is the property privately owned or owned by a charity?

As a quasi landlord the agents know everything has to be perfect. No short cuts and a property I would be happy to live in. That should be the minimum standard for any rental property.
 

Dave

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It'll be privately owned and let to the charity :)
 

Dave Spence

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Send in Mrs Munch mate, she'll sort the bu**ers out.

PS

Pssssssssstttttttttttt @Dave I know where there is a bit of a job for you if you want it, cash in hand and no questions., just a few white tiles to put back.... :p
 
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